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CSBG Archive

Sunday Brunch: 9/12/10

The biggest Brunch ever? Quite possibly. All the news that’s fit to pimp!

ALAN MOORE VS. THE WORLD: In case you missed it, here’s a link to that Alan Moore interview at Bleeding Cool that everyone’s talking about:

Now, I stepped in and said to Dave that actually, no I had grown so sick of WATCHMEN over these last 18 months that I didn’t want the rights back anymore.  If they had offered them back to me back when I wanted them, ten, twenty years ago, then maybe this could have all been resolved in a friendly fashion.  But no, I wasn’t going to take the rights back at this stage after they had pretty much, in my opinion, raped what I had thought to be a pretty decent work of art.  I didn’t want them throwing me back the spent and exhausted carcass of my work and certainly not under terms that would apparently allow them to go on producing witless sequels and prequels ad infinitum.

RANDOM THOUGHT! I would totally buy an “Alan Moore vs. the World” comic in which the author must defeat his seven evil ex-stories or ex-artists or somesuch.

ITEM! Jog and Matt Seneca team up to critique Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside Jim Steranko’s Outland in one mammoth installment:

Which makes me think. Both of these comics are really good, individual pieces that I’m obviously glad we have, but I do wonder about the weird tonal inconsistencies between comic and film versions that dog both. I feel like maybe Steranko would have been better suited to adapt the cold, hard, futurist 2001, where narrative and story are often secondary to psychedelic visual innovation, and Kirby could have done a better version of the more classically-structured, human Outland, really milked the genre grit and emotional iron of the space-western for all it was worth. Because in harsh reality neither of these comics are lasting, fundamental works — they’re ephemera, and it seems to me that they didn’t necessarily have to be that way. But they’re both just a little bit too flawed.

ITEM! Jim Rugg wants you to read his Rambo 3.5 mini-comic for free, so you should do that very thing, even though my review was less than favorable. The art, though, is gorgeous, so give it a look. You’ve got five minutes to spare:

ROOT OF ALL EVIL DEPT: The Beat shares some figures on how much comic creators make and how much it costs to make a comic. Math makes my brain sad:

I would submit that it isn’t just the comics industry but all the creative arts in general that are now hiding in the storm cellar waiting for the savage hurricane of The New Economy to blow through. Finding out if your house was flattened will depend on whether you were in a trailer park or a nice house on bedrock to begin with.

OBLIGATORY CHRIS SIMS DOUBLE FEATURE: Sims has penned some excellent articles over at ComicsAlliance in the past couple weeks. First off, there’s his latest bit of Batmanology:

The very existence of Batman perpetuates itself. The fact that Bruce Wayne puts on that costume and fights against crime changes everything. It’s the other side of the argument that Batman creates his own villains — he also creates his own allies. He inspires others in the same way that he himself was inspired, but does so by removing tragedy and replacing it with an ideal. Batman turns tragedy into justice, not just by punching out criminals, but by giving people something to believe in and aspire to.

And secondly, his stunning analysis of Fantastic Four #50’s place in the comics canon:

It’s the core storytelling difference between the Galactus saga and its contemporaries at DC: That things don’t just threaten the heroes for eight pages at a time before being banished. They’re always out there somewhere, they’ve always been there, and — another extremely key point — they don’t always result from an absolute evil. It’s the first nail in the coffin of the Silver Age, and the start of the next forty years of comics having a love-hate relationship with “realism” and the metaphors creators use to deliver it.

ITEM! The Let’s Be Friends Again guys prove that the Bible would be way more badass with superheroes:

RANDOM THOUGHT! I can never tell when people are talking about Irredeemable versus Incorruptible. My brain only comprehends Inxxxxxxxble and automatically fills in one or the other. I get confused so easily this way.

RANDOMER THOUGHT! Matter-Eater Lad clearly has no superpowers, but just suffers from pica. Where is Psychiatry Lass when you need her?

RE:COVERED: Some great stuff at Covered! within the past month or so. Here’s Brandon Michael Barker on Thor and David King giving us some hot Bob Hope action:

ITEM! Cameron Stewart and Ramon Perez share some artwork from unused Zuda pitches:

The only thing not awesome about that panel is the incorrect use of “its.”

ITEM! Over at Bad Librarianship, Brendan McCarthy discusses Spider-Man: Fever, out now (now? I think now) in trade, but, being Brendan McCarthy, that leads to him talking about life, the universe, and everything:

It’s interesting to observe people who cultivate a special ‘mystique’ around themselves. It’s called ‘glamour’ in the old meaning of the word — to be enchanted and beguiled.
But the ego, that which wants to be seen as ‘special’, is also a beguiling enchantment — a mind-story that is lived inside of for all our lives. What is known as ‘self-realization’ or ‘enlightenment’ is the falling away of the core belief in a separate ‘personal self’ that is running ‘your’ life. The life force is powering everything anyway — You are not the doer. The awareness that is reading this right now is actually the true center. The fuzzy cognizing space that you are looking out of gives rise to the egoic thought-construct called ‘me’ and its subsequent story.
Simply put: Everything is happening to no-one.

AACK! Shaenon K. Garrity writes about the importance of Cathy now that the strip is drawing to a close:

After decades of mainstream popularity, Cathy is still widely disliked by pop-cult elites like you and me. It whirls eternally between the Scylla and Charybdis of gender essentialism: men don’t like it because it’s about girly stuff, and feminist women don’t like it because it’s about girly stuff. Anti-feminists don’t have reason to like it either, what with the single-career-woman heroine who’s always been as open as newspaper syndication will allow about her casual sex life. That leaves just one demographic: women who are all for liberation and being your own woman and all that, but can’t quite figure out how to reconcile it with their actual lives. Women who never stopped feeling the pressure to cook like Betty Crocker and look like Donna Reed, and just added to it the pressure to change the world like Gloria Steinem. In other words, almost every woman of the Baby Boom generation.

THIS REMINDS ME OF THIS DEPT: So some behind-the-scenes shots of Captain America’s stunt double on a motorcycle have leaked, and it’s deja vu all over again for me. After all, doesn’t this (via Bleeding Cool)…

…make you think of a certain Reb Brown?:

ITEM! Colin Smith has been taking looks at recent releases and shaking his head in frustration– except when it comes to Scarlet #2:

Cleverly, her words increase our empathy with her while distancing us from applauding her acts, for the greatest danger of the urban vigilante tale is that it ends up, despite often laudable attempts not to, as arguing for the principle that Bernhard Goetz was right. When, for example, Scarlet follows her execution of a policeman with the statement “I tried. You saw I tried.”, the reader is thrown out of the text by the realisation that they didn’t see anything of the kind, and it’s such a clever business that it makes me want to applaud. For how else could the text had contained this degree of moral anchoring without disrupting the pleasures of the tale of how the apparently-harmless Scarlet hunted down those beastly men? For, yes, it is a case of a writer wanting all the thrills of the vigilante-exploitation genre without succumbing to its dubious morality, but that’s actually rather impressive rather than contemptible. For to be made to enjoy seeing exceedingly corrupt cops suffer while never being for a moment expected to believe that any of this is a good thing is a clever balancing trick well-executed.

ITEM! Tim Hodler shares a find– the Anti-Wertham, the co-founder of the Libertarian party (for really reals), David Nolan, who once promoted comics’ glorious right-wing leanings!

ITEM! This guy loves Aquaman, which makes him good people.

ITEM! Evan Shaner draws an awesome Captain Marvel at ComicTwart:

Click the link for the rest of the piece. It’s a doozy.

REMAKE/REMOD– I MEAN, DOCTOR WHO DE– WAIT– HOLD ON: Whitechapel hosts the best Remake/Remodel ever, with Warren Ellis challenging artists to imagine the Doctor’s future, 13th, final incarnation. All the stops are pulled! There are a dozen or more entries I’d love to share with you, but you’re gonna have to click the link! Here are some fabulous pieces by Ben Templesmith, Pia Guerra, Paul Sizer, and Annie Wu, who drew what I was thinking:


That’s all the murder she wrote for this week, gang. See you next time.

17 Comments

The Sims piece on FF 50 is greatness (almost said “fantastic”, harhar)…the big guy should do more serious historical/analytical stuff like it.

The comic I want to see most? “Alan Moore Vs. His Beard: There Can Be Only One”

• So, if I wrote one comic a month for Marvel or DC as a freelancer, I’d be making more than I do at my current full-time job. But, I wouldn’t have built-in health insurance. Hrm.

• Todd Allen’s print-to-profit breakdown, which is partially quoted in Heidi’s second article, is eye-opening; it also has easy to understand charts. Robert Kirkman is truly an anomaly in the industry. I don’t see how most independent creators are surviving.

• The more I see of Captain America, the less I want to see Captain America. Daylight is not doing that costume any favors.

• Comic Twart also did a Doctor Who week. There must be something in the air.

The Solomon one is the funniest of the Bible ones.

Wow, I can’t believe the penciller only gets paid 1.5 times the pay of the writer. I thought it would be at least double, probably should be more than that. Writers regularly turn in three and four scripts a month, so they at least have a hope of passing the median income. But who can pencil two books a month in today’s industry? And for a penciller, the figure of 40k per annum only holds when the artist gets consistent work, completing twelve books every year, which I imagine many, if not most, don’t. Plus, there’s the expense of training that they have to recoup. Man, what a horrible return on investment, makes me glad I didn’t go after my childhood dreams.

@Ian:

Keep in mind that the 40k figure is for the penciler. A writer on a single book is looking at something like 27.5K/year before self employment taxes in NYC. Last I checked that’s not going to buy you much more than a (very) crappy apartment with three or so roommates. You’d need to push out probably three or four scripts a month to live something closer to a comfortable life.

@Another Dan:

Yeah, man. I did the math, and I meant what I posted. 26.4k is the actual figure, based on 22 pages a month and 12 issues a year, and it’s more than I make at my current gig. Which is…kinda sad.

I thought you said this was the biggest Brunch ever? To make up for last week’s absence, this week’s Bruch should have been twice this blog.

;-)

The Alan Moore interview is much better than I thought it would be. I thought he would just be insulting to other writers, but while he does insult other writers, most of his anger is directed at DC Comics.

Ignore me, then. A lot of folks on The Beat thread seemed to forget some of the important minor details: lack of insurance, much higher taxes on self employment, and having to live in NYC.

After reading the Alan Moore interview, I was unhappy with his dismissive comments about Dave Gibbons and David Lloyd. How he harped on that they should thank him for all the money they would receive for Watchmen & V For Vendetta respectively. It all comes across like a “Kneel before Zod” moment where they must be humble and grateful for everything that Alan has done for them. That they should never forget.

It reminds me of The Smiths and how one half of the band (Morrissey and Marr – the songwriters) treated the other half (Joyce and Rourke – the non-songwriting rhythm section). It all went to court and Morrissey was memorably described by the judge as “devious, truculent and unreliable”.

I would be totally excited for Alan Moore vs. the World. Let’s see if we can think of seven feuds:
1. Alan Davis (Miracleman)
2. David Lloyd (V for Vendetta)
3. Dave Gibbons (Watchmen)
4. Paul Levitz (Watchmen)
5. Rob Liefeld (Supreme)
6. Jim Lee (America’s Best Comics)
7. The entire production of “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

@Mars Bonfire
I completely disagree. Imagine that you work with someone and the money paid is supposed to be split among both of you. Now, the other someone says “I don’t want anything to do with this money, you should keep it.” How can you not say “Thank you.” I think it is natural to expect a friend to be grateful. I would be grateful if someone let me have more money that the original deal I had.

Well, I know I’m going to keep a link to this one this week. Great stuff.

Hm, it sounds like I’d make a comprable (shit, that’s not spelled right, is it? comparable. There, that looks better. Still dunno if it’s right) amount of money writing a monthly comic, and I don’t currently have health insurance anyway. Gotta start working on my stuff…

Dean’s got a good list of Moore enemies. I’d read that. I think, without reading the interview, that Gibbons and Lloyd should be grateful to Moore, since not only do they get a larger cut of the movie money, they also get a bit of exposure and hopefully more work (from being involved in that movie that that evil bastard Moore doesn’t want to be associated with). But depending on the tone, it could certainly come across as being an ass.

I need to mention this here, since an old post of Bill’s led me to discover this. Check out topshelfcomix.com this next 2 weeks for a BIG sale. It’s really good. It “officially” starts Tuesday, but the prices on a lot of things are already marked down. Lost Girls one volume for 25 bucks. Alec Omnibus for 20/25 SC/HC. Lots of other cheap stuff. And I’ve mail ordered from them before, and they’re quite good. In fact, I emailed Chris and Rob early the other morning asking about the sale, and they separately got back to me within 45 minutes. I guess the Hollywood money from the Surrogates didn’t corrupt them. Now I just need to figure out how I can order with my near the limit credit cards…

My other happier comics news is that Mark Waid is going to be at Ithacon (Ithaca NY) on Sep 25! Yay! He was supposed to be there a few years back, but I think he had trouble with his flight. Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Roger Stern, lots of other people, cheap comics. I’m in heaven. comicbookclub.org for details.

There’s an auction in my area that has old comics, some Lassie, a Patsy Walker, some cowboy ones. Oh, in the picture, they looked to be in nice condition. Wish I had more money.

In today’s NY Times T magazine (the men’s fashion issue), there’s an article about photographer Bruce Davidson, who did a 1959 series “Brooklyn Gang”. In the pic they show, the gang is standing in front of a rack of comics! I geeked out. I could see a Patsy Walker, Strange Adventures, Teen Love, House of Mystery, Chip N Dale, Out of This World (I think was the title, they’re partially obscured in places) Hot Stuff, and some others. It was way cool.

And you have to seek out the Rex Morgan strip from either Friday or Saturday Sept. 10 or 11. The syndicate website only seems to let you read the first week of August, but you HAVE to check out the first panel. If the Get Fuzzy strips that are mentioned in the CBLR are banned, this should be too.

The mayor has prostate cancer, and someone has informed the press of this. Rex is checking into where they could have gotten the info. So in this strip, the receptionist says, “the only place the leak could have come from is the urologist’s office.” Really? REALLY!!?!!!

@Dean:

I can see why Alan Moore might have a problem with # Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd, Paul Levitz and the entire production crew of LoEG and maybe Jim Lee, but why would he have a problem with Alan Davis and Rob Liefeld?

I don’t remember ever reading about any public feuds with Alan Davis and Rob Liefeld.

Jim Lee, I’m not to clear on that, unless it has to do with him selling Wildstorm to DC shortly after Alan Moore started doing ABC line-ups.

Cass, the penciler can also sell the original pages, which even if it was only $50 a pop would add up to an additional $1,000 a month. I don’t know if that justifies the rate they get paid, but there is that. And there’s also the fact that even though penciling a comic might take much longer, the writing is still at least as important as the art. If the writing sells the book, then in my opinion the writer should get paid more, regardless of the amount of time it takes compared to penciling.

@ Tom Fitzpatrick:

I don’t remember the details of the Moore-Davis feud, but I know that it was bitter and turned on money.

Rob Liefeld writes critical stuff about Moore on Twitter fairly frequently.

I don’t know that Jim Lee was a personal conflict, just that Moore was very upset about the sale of Wildstorm to DC.

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